Neil Young and Stephen Stills reunited at Los Angeles’ Greek Theater on Saturday night for the latter’s “Light Up The Blues” autism awareness event. It was Young’s first on-stage performance since 2019.
The largely collaborative set concluded the night, with Young stepping up for solo renditions of “From Hank to Hendrix” and “Comes a Time” before being joined by house band Promise of the Real for “Heart of Gold.” Stills added piano accompaniment on the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young number, “Helpless,” and remained to deliver a series of Buffalo Springfield songs, including “For What It’s Worth,” “Bluebird,” and “Mr. Soul” with help from Joe Walsh.
They closed with a rendition of “Long May You Run” from Stills-Young Band’s one-off 1976 joint album of the same name. Watch fan-captured footage of the setlist’s highlights below.
Earlier in the program, Stills paid tribute to late bandmate David Crosby with a performance of CSNY’s “Wooden Ships” alongside his son, Chris Stills, and Crosby’s son, James Raymond. Graham Nash, who was unable to attend the event due to a conflicting concert, appeared in a pre-taped video to introduce a 2013 performance of “Guinnevere” by Crosby, Nash, and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. “Enjoy the music, and please rejoice,” he said (per Rolling Stone). “I’m going to miss him every day of my life.”
The LA-based “Light Up The Blues” fundraising event has been arranged by the Stills family since 2013 to benefit the non-profit Autism Speaks, which raises awareness for autism and sponsors research while also conducting outreach activities aimed at families, governments, and the public. The sixth iteration was hosted by Jeff Garlin and Camryn Manheim and also featured sets by Sharon Van Etten, Willie Nelson, and more.
The charity event follows Young’s impromptu acoustic set in February at an environmental rally in British Columbia as his first public performance in nearly four years. A return to the stage in the wake of the pandemic seemed unlikely for the Canadian singer-songwriter after he shared he was “not ready” to play concerts out of concern for his health and safety, and more recently lamented that “concert touring is broken.” He’s next slated to appear at Willie Nelson’s 90th birthday celebration on April 29th and 30th (get tickets here).
In spite of his live hiatus, Young has continued to be characteristically prolific by releasing two albums with Crazy Horse in the span of four months. World Record arrived in November 2022, followed by All Roads Lead Home in March.
Neil Young Setlist:
From Hank to Hendrix
Comes a Time
Heart of Gold
Helpless (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song)
On the Way Home (Buffalo Springfield song)
Everybody’s Wrong (Buffalo Springfield song)
For What It’s Worth (Buffalo Springfield song)
Bluebird (Buffalo Springfield song)
Mr. Soul (Buffalo Springfield song)
Long May You Run (The Stills–Young Band song)